The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994
This requires a Landlord to ensure that all gas fittings and flues are maintained in good order, and requires gas appliances and flues to be checked for safety by a CORGI registered engineer (the Landlords Gas Safety Certificate). This must be carried out before a tenant takes occupation, and thereafter yearly. A copy of the certificate should be kept at the property at all times and a copy should also be provided to us for our records. Cooke & Co can arrange for the gas safety inspection to be carried out by a Corgi registered plumber.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
This regulation requires that all electrical appliances, equipment and supply must be safe. Where their safe use requires, appropriate instruction booklets must also be provided. Plugs and sockets that are newly installed must conform to the appropriate British Standard or approved alternative.
Unlike the gas safety, there is currently no statutory annual testing interval. Yet, in order to meet the requirements, it is still important that all electrical equipment be tested regularly.
The Furniture & Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988 & subsequent amendments
From March 1993, Landlords letting residential property must make sure that all upholstered furniture complies with the Fire and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988. Generally, these cover the need for fire-resistant filling material to upholstered articles and the passing of a match-resistant and cigarette-resistant test. Failure to do so could result in up to 6 months imprisonment and/or fines up to £5,000.00.
The correct method of displaying compliance is to check that a permanent label is present on all items of furniture. The regulations apply to:
Three piece suites, armchairs & sofas
Beds, headboards, mattresses, divans & bed bases
Sofa beds, futons & other convertible furniture
Nursery & children's furniture
Loose, stretch & fitted covers for furniture
Pillows, scatter cushions & seat pads
Garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling
Any items not labelled may not conform to the regulation and will have to be removed from the property. It should be noted that any furniture manufactured prior to 1st January 1950 is exempt from the regulations.
Smoke Detectors Act 1991
Any new homes built after 1992 are required to have smoke detectors installed. Whilst not yet a legal requirement for pre-1992 properties, we feel this legislation will soon follow and we would strongly recommend Landlords install at least two smoke detectors.
Insurance and Tax
As a Landlord you need to advise your buildings insurer that the property is to be occupied by tenants. The tenant will be responsible for insuring their own belongings but you should maintain cover for any contents you are leaving at the property.
If you would like more information on insurance products and services that are designed specifically for Landlords, please call us and we can send you a brochure. Alternatively, call:
Homelet (0845 117 6000) quoting ref: 1502534
Cooke and Co is an Introducer Appointed Representative of HomeLet which is a trading name of Barbon Insurance Group Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered in England number 3135797.
We recommend that you tell your mortgage company you intend to rent out your property. Most Banks and Building Societies require you to seek their permission.
The Inland Revenue state that income from property is subject to taxation at standard rates, and your expenses in letting the property are generally tax-deductible (these often can include mortgage interest payments, but will exclude capital expenditure, such as furniture/appliances etc.). You will need to tell the Tax Authorities that you are renting out your property. We can offer general guidance, however, we strongly advise you instruct an accountant if you are uncertain in any way.
If you will be living overseas you must complete an Inland Revenue NRL1 form (available from us) to enable an agent collecting rent on your behalf to transfer this rent on to you without deducting tax at basic rate. Please ask us for more information.
Capital Gains Tax
Again the position varies according to circumstances and we recommend an accountant is consulted for the correct advice.